Arts and Culture

Highlands East has a rich history of mining, logging and the IB&O railway. Further explore the history and culture of Highlands East while visiting these unique art installations.

Cardiff Dragon Fly

dragon fly sculptureCreated by artist Andy Hillo with the help of the Bicroft roads crew who installed the supporting posts.

This Giant insect was erected in 1998 as a tribute to the Hamlet of Cardiff and is now a symbol of the village. Constructed out of recycled plastic, copper roofing material and an old water tank for the head, this giant dragonfly is one of a kind.

This Art project was initiated be the Development Corporation Arts Committee and funded by Human Resources Canada and is probably the largest Dragonfly in Canada with its 16 foot wing span, even if it doesn't keep all the black flies away it is definitely a unique sight on Highway 118 at the Cardiff village entrance.

Wilberforce Red Cross Outpost Nurse

sculpture tribute to Red Cross NursesCreated by Jane Agnew.

Representing the nurses who served at the Wilberforce Outpost, which was the first Red Cross Outpost Hospital in Ontario and was declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 2003.

The sculpture depicts a nurse walking with her head held, high looking forward with one arm back leading a child. When you are looking at the sculpture you will notice that the right side is crumbled stone; and if you look closely you will see that it is a shoulder with an arm hanging down, and at its side a medical bag, thus representing the doctor that was never really at the Wilberforce Outpost but could always be called upon in times of need.

For more information visit the Wilberforce Red Cross Outpost Historic House Museum for a tour.

Gooderham Sun Village

sculpture of Sun VillageCreated by John Leonard.

Made of genuine historic artifacts consisting of a saw, which was being used up until it was made part of the sculpture, and the water turbine, which is over 100 years old and was used in the original sawmill. The sculpture is Leonard's interpretation of the effect Hunter's Sawmill has had on the village of Gooderham, with the saw representing the sun, shining over the village below.

The original saw mill was built on the river, since there was a great need to use water energy to make production possible and bring the logs to the mill. The saw mill was then moved across the road and is still in operation today.

For more information check out A Journey Through Glamorgan's Past by Elva Bates at a local library in Highlands East.

Mural on Wilberforce Fire Hall

train muralPainted by Allen Hilgendorf.

The mural on the side of the Wilberforce Fire Hall is a tribute to the train station that existed in Wilberforce, the old rail road and the soldiers returning from WWII. One soldier's arrival is depicted, Reg Scofield was met with joy after being held in a POW camp near Hong Kong for four years up until the war ended in 1945. If you take the time to really look at this beautiful mural you will notice that from any angle you look at it, the train is always coming directly at you.

Organized by the Wilberforce Heritage Guild, an ad hoc committee, they became a registered charity so they could give out receipts for selling off each brick on the side of the fire hall. A brilliant idea by our very own Mary Barker of Agnew's General Store. The blocks were auctioned off in order to pay for the mural and citizens of our community made this project possible to succeed and become an attractive piece of art for all to enjoy.

View the Highlands East's Art Installations map.